• The Domestic Revolution

  • How the Introduction of Coal into Victorian Homes Changed Everything
  • By: Ruth Goodman
  • Narrated by: Jennifer M. Dixon
  • Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (52 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"The queen of living history" (Lucy Worsley) returns with an immersive account of how English women sparked a worldwide revolution - from their own kitchens.

No single invention epitomizes the Victorian era more than the black cast-iron range. Aware that the 21st-century has reduced it to a quaint relic, Ruth Goodman was determined to prove that the hot coal stove provided so much more than morning tea: It might even have kick-started the Industrial Revolution. Wielding the wit and passion seen in How to Be a Victorian, Goodman traces the tectonic shift from wood to coal in the mid-16th century - from sooty trials and errors during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I to the totally smog-clouded reign of Queen Victoria. A pattern of innovation emerges as the women stoking these fires also stoked new global industries: from better soap to clean smudges to new ingredients for cooking. Laced with uproarious anecdotes of Goodman's own experience managing a coal-fired household, this fascinating book shines a hot light on the power of domestic necessity.

©2020 Ruth Goodman (P)2020 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about The Domestic Revolution

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Zombie Apocalypse

If there's ever a zombie apocalypse, I want Ruth Goodman with me. That is all that needs saying.

7 people found this helpful

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very enlightening to our domestic standards roots

I wish ruth goodman would have narrated it but it is still very interesting if you love wierd history

3 people found this helpful

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Fascinating

This book is a deep dive into subjects I didn't realize I wanted to learn about, but it turned out that I did! Recipes, cleaning products, interior design trends, architecture, market forces, government regulation... all tired together neatly by coal. Excellent.

2 people found this helpful

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The narrator can put an insomniac to sleep

I knew this was a pretty dry topic when I bought the book, but I had hope that it would be interesting enough to engage me.

Though the author has an impressive base of knowledge in her subject, I’m sorry to say the composition was consistently that of a droning lecture. Theoretically interesting material, but apparently I have a limit to my curiosity.

But however dry the topic, an engaging narrator could probably have held my attention.
Unfortunately, that was not the case here. The narrator did a good *technical* job (she never stumbled or mispronounced words), and has a tremendously even, steady voice, but frankly, it repeatedly put me to sleep. I’m an insomniac, so that was somewhat useful, but I barely absorbed any information from this book, as a result.

Seriously, do not listen to this while driving, or operating heavy machinery.

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Great Everyday History

I know it doesn't sound like the most exciting thing in the world but I am always fascinated by how people manage to get things done on practical daily needs. This is a great telling about the shift from wood to coal and everything that required to make daily life work.

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This book is amazing

This may be the most enlightening work of social history I have ever encountered. It is a stunningly effective demonstration of why consumer decisions matter, and is fascinating m

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good stuff

the nation was rather calm, but the information was fascinating. I recommend it to all my friends, if only to understand some things about English cuisine.

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A very interesting read!

a little disconnected in the end(might be down to the edit) but very informative and fascinating with an interesting point about the changes in the domestic sphere.